Every year we see more and more examples of how global warming is changing the world. Fortunately, there has been some effort to try and combat this environmental change, and one great example is the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which was signed in December 2015.
Each year we see new technology and trends that are shaping our geography, whether it’s reducing pollution or increasing the world’s food source in order to keep up with the population growth. Here are some of the new trends that are playing an important role in 2017 and beyond.
Creating a nuclear-fusion energy power plant will not only give us the ability to power the planet for millions of years while producing zero greenhouse gas emissions, but it is also much safer than the current nuclear power plants in use today. With no possibility of a meltdown, the plant also takes up a lot less space and produces short-lived waste. A company in Canada, General Fusion, is currently at work at making this pollution-free energy source an affordable reality.
There had been a lot of advances in the world of transportation that is only going to make the world smaller place. Traveling will get faster with projects like the Hyperloop, which can carry passengers at a jaw-dropping 760 mph. Traveling will also get safer as self-driving cars begin to take over the roads and eliminate accidents due to human errors. Vehicles will also become much more environmentally-friendly as researchers say they are currently working on a battery that is between 1,000-to-10,000 times stronger than the super capacitor. Airships are also coming into the picture and using helium instead of hydrogen, and can transport more passengers with less fuel than an airplane, which means a lot less fossil fuel will be used in the near future.
Soon we will be able to control and stop fires with sound. Scientists at George Mason University in Virginia have shown how pressure waves from sound can be used to stop the flow of oxygen to the fire and distinguish it. With this type of technology, you’d be able direct loud noises at a certain frequency toward a house fire or forest fire and put the flame out.
As the population continues to grow and reach numbers never seen before, feeding this huge population will become a challenge. One of the biggest foreseen shortages includes meat, since there is just no way to produce enough to feed 7.5 billion people. A solution to this is to create meat substitutes that mimic the real thing. There is already a company that produces a meat hamburger patty that was created from the protein they got from peas. There is also technology being developed to help cut down on the waste of food. Up to 50% of the food we buy gets thrown away because of the expiration label, which displays a conservative date. A more accurate approach includes a label that gets ‘bumpier’ as food expires. It is thought that this more observable fact of food heading toward expiry will prompt its consumption earlier.
Around 30% of emissions pumped into the air come from manufacturing. Making the simple everyday objects that we use produces significant quantities of CO2 in the air, causing a strain on the environment. Carbon Engineering, another Canadian company, is working on taking the same CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere and use them to make fuel. The company has built a running plant in Squamish, British Columbia, and is using it to remove up to one ton of carbon dioxide from the air every day. The company insists that they can remove more carbon dioxide per acre than plants and trees.